Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Boyce Christmas in Round Valley 1865


Christmas in Lonely Cabin Brings Own Joy

Mrs. Cleo B. Rogers of Pocatello continues her story of the four youths of Oxford, Idaho who were snowbound in a lonely cabin in Round Valley, Cassia County, in the winter of '65 (1865).  John Boyce and his wife, Aunt Polly, had brought the boys to the cabin to feed the sheep wintered there and to the forest to watch the traps for fur bearing animals, the pelts of which were sold to the traders of Ross Fork agency.
That evening Mr. Boyce sat warming his feet at the fireplace to take out the numbness.  He explained, "I must start back before daylight in the morning.  Your mother is not at all well.  Must not lose any time if we are to get a load of provisions back here before the snow flies.  Chief Arimo says, 'Early winter, much snow wagon road,' and I believe he knows.  Your ma thinks David should go back with me and let Albert stay here till next trip, when we bring the grub and shoes."

"Docky, think you'd like that?" smiled the older brother, John.

"Better than anything in all the world," answered the small boy.

Mr. Boyce and David drove away before sunrise the next morning and the four boys who remained watched the wagon as it formed another silhouette, this time against the red, red sky.

Three days after David and his father had gone back to Smithfield, Calvin and John, jr., came back into the cabin after doing their chores.

"Oho, you like snow men," shouted Albert.

The open fire sizzled and sputtered its protest as the boys shook their neuples and scarfs, making them ready to hang on the wooden pegs above the fireplace.  It had snowed all night and was still snowing.  Already over a foot had fallen.

"We're snowed in," exclaimed Cal, as stood before the fire in the Round Valley cabin.  It was a serious situation and he heaved a deep sigh.  "Oh, well, the folks had time to get to Smithfield, and they wouldn't be starting back until this morning.  They are all right."

As John stood liberally rubbing the home-made soap over his hands, he raised himself to his full height and said with a grin, "And we are all right -- plenty of company, too.  Did all of you hear the concert last night?  Sounded like it was about 200 strong.  Think we can count on coyote serenades all winter.  Then we have neighbors -- Ross Fork, only about 70 miles away.  Also more neighbors and George's wife, just a stone's throw, 24 miles or so across to Franklin."

Through the corner of his eye John saw that his little brother was having a hard time to keep his chin from quivering, as he thought of what the words 'snowed in' meant.

"Albert Boyce!"  John began, but changed his tactics.  "Say, little doctor, I can beat you in a game of mumble peg.  Three to one you can't beat me.  George isn't quite ready for us to eat."

They knelt on the hard-packed floor and tried to play the game but Albert's thoughts wandered.

"John," he ventured in soft tones, "did you see how pa looked like he could almost cry when he said, 'Be good boys.'?  Then he rode over the same road they took when ma and pa went, did you look and see the sky was all red, John?'  The little boy hitched along the floor to be neared his beloved brother.  "Did you hear how his voice shook when he said it again, 'Be good boys'?"

"One way to be good is to get up to this breakfast before those cream biscuits are cold," said the cook.

After the delicious breakfast, Calvin spoke emphathically.  "Snow or no snow, must be out looking after the traps.  Who wants to go?"

Everyone shouted "I!"  So the dishes and food were left on the table, nor did anyone remember to put out the cat.  (Not one of the boys could ever again 'abide a cat.'  But that has nothing to do with this story.)

Late in the afternoon the boys returned.  They entered the cabin and John said, "How long do you think that course is, Cal?"

Calvin hesitated.  "If we had only counted the pieces of poisoned meat I could tell you to the very foot.  Every piece of meat is 50 feet apart.  I have stepped off 50-foot lengths so often for pa I do it without thinking.  However, each piece is within sight of the cabin.  By pushing out a length of chinking from between the logs we can watch the fun.  Dragging that leg of spoiled mutton around the course with us will make every wolf and coyote stop and take notice.

True enough, before sundown a coyote came sniffing along.  He sniffed the first bait, then passed to the second, sniffed and then came back to the first.  The boys looking through the chink hole snickered.  The unsuspecting animal followed the scent of the mutton leg beyond the second bait, which he had returned to and eaten.  Then with his characteristic gliding, slinking gait, he started to trot along.

"Gobbles them up line and sinker, doesn't he Cal?" whispered the little boy as he slid his hand into his big brother's large palm.  When the light footed coyote had gone around the whole circle and stood wondering which way he wanted to go next, the boys in the cabin felt disappointed and amazed.  "Great Scotland up a tree, we've used the wrong bait!" muttered Calvin.

Quickly he reached for the gun.  He thrust the muzzle through the chinking space, took careful aim and fired.  The coyote dropped dead.

Pell mell, the boys scurried through the door, each wanting to be the first to see where the bullet hit.  There was not a mark.  The shot had missed.  The poisoned bait had taken effect and the shock of hearing the rifle report had caused instant death.

Thus the time passed.  Much snow fell and the boys did their daily chores and put in the time the best they could.

They had counted the days till Christmas.  Albert thought it would never come.  He hung up his stockings night after night even though Cal told him it was too soon.  He felt sure that Santa Clause had passed by.  Christmas morning he found his mistake, when in his stocking, though very much mended with big stitches, he found many gifts; a top made from a spool ma had left, a cart made of log ends sawed true for wheels, a bow and arrow from birch willows and a checkerboard made smooth by stretching rawhide over a slab, and squares painted with dried crushed berries.  No wonder there had always been whittlings around the south side of the cabin.  Much of the carpenter work had been done there.  The boys had also made gifts for the house: rolling pins, potato mashers and other things.

Source: From the April 19, 1936 issue of "The Idaho Sunday Statesman", found in the Boyce Histories

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Asay "F.A."

F.A. Snyder Store Lovell, Wyoming

Story of An Unusual Piece of Furniture
 by Joy Marostica

Sitting inside the front door of the Asay household in all its glory was the "F.A." When lifting the lid of this - thing - one could find hats, mittens, scarves, sweaters and odds and ends that had no reason for being there.
 This piece of "furniture" was a direct result of Delbert's deals with F.A. Snyder, proprietor of the general store. Fred Snyder was a large man with a handle-bar mustache. He waited on customers in his bare feet and with a friendly smile welcomed one and all to his store. Fred liked to sing to his customers; "That Old Brown Coat On Me" was his favorite song; if he wasn't humming it, he was singing it.

His store was not the typical business with jars of this and bolts of that neatly arranged. This was pure chaos... clothing was draped over cans of honey, toys displayed among the tools, candy jars squeezed in between boots and hats, but no one seemed to mind. It was a real experience to wander through F.A.'s "displays".

The Asay children often brought in eggs to exchange for flour, sugar, and other needs, and on rare occasions Delila allowed them to trade for his delicious old fashioned chocolates. Most people charged or traded and if a bill was paid Fred's reward was a sack of candy.

When F.A. Snyder had a sale, Delbert would often buy it all - bringing home baskets of items to be shared with everyone. Friends and neighbors would drop in at the Asays to try on shoes for school or pick up other things from Delbert's boxes of bargains.

His children were still laughing about the time he paid 50cents for an interesting box of something. They excitedly crowded around their Papa and helped tear off the pretty paper. To their surprise they discovered nothing but men’s' old fashioned stiff white collars!

It was Delila who first noticed the possibilities of the tall, oblong box with the hinged lid. Delbert had proudly brought it home full of one of F.A.'s latest sales, and when it was empty Delila placed the container by the door where it quickly became a "Fiber McGee's closet." It remained there for many years and kept Delila's home free from clutter. Grandchildren also enjoyed it finding its' top just the right height for sitting on to look out the window.

Delbert gave this, monstrosity to some or beloved piece of furniture to others, its' name. When something was lost he'd say, "Go look in the "F.A." Other families in Lovell had their buffet, but the Asay children always felt a bit unique being the only ones with an "F.A."

* Note: Photo is not the "F.A." If one exists please share.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Holloway Massacre

Nancy Bush Holloway circa 1858
As recorded in "Book of Crossing the Plains, Days of '57' by William Audley Maxwell

Note:  This is a true story of an Indian Massacre on the Humboldt River 30 miles East of Winnemucca,Nevada, August 14, 1857. Jeremiah Bush is my daughter-in-law's gg-grandfather.  This is not a story Grandmother Asay told, but is a true Pioneer Story and seemed to fit best here.



It was decided that while in this region we would, whenever possible, make our camp some distance from the river, in order that the stock might be prevented from drinking the dangerous river water, also for the reason that the clumps of willows by the stream could be used as a cover by Indians bent on mischief: and they, we now believed, were watching for a favorable opportunity to surprise us.

It transpired that the Holloway party neglected this precaution, at least on one occasion, sometime after passing the head of the Humboldt River. Their train was next behind ours when, on the evening of August 13th, after rounding up their stock for the night, a short distance from the wagons, they stopped near the willows by the river and made what proved to be their last camp.

Behind them, but not within sight, were several emigrant camps at points varying from a few rods to half a mile apart.

The Holloway party retired as usual for the night; Mr. and Mrs. Holloway and their child, a girl of two years, in a small tent near the wagons; Jerry Bush, Mrs. Holloway's brother, and one of the hired men, Joe Blevens, in their blankets on the ground; while Bird Lawles, the other hired man, being ill with a fever, slept in a wagon.

There were others with this party that night; Mr. and Mrs. Callum, Mr. Hattlebaugh, and a man whose name is now unknown. These four had been traveling near the Holloway party, and joined it for camping on that occasion.

The following morning Mr. Holloway was the first to arise. While making the camp-fire, he called to the others to get up, saying cheerfully:

"Well, we've got through one more night without a call from the Redskins."

"Bang, bang," rang out a volley of rifle shots, fired from the willows along the river, less than a hundred yards away.

Mr. Holloway fell, fatally shot, and died without a word or a struggle. As other members of the emigrant party sprang to their feet and came within view of the assailants, the firing continued, killing Joe Blevens, Mrs. Callum, and the man whose name is not recalled; while Bird Lawles, being discovered on his sick bed in a wagon, was instantly put to death.

Jerimiah "Jerry" Bush
 Meanwhile Jerry Bush grasped his rifle and joined battle against the assassins. Thus far the savages remained hidden in the bushes, and Jerry's shots were fired merely at places where he saw the tall weeds and willows shaken by the motions of the Indians, therefore he has never known whether his bullets struck one of the enemy.

While thus fighting alone, for his life and that of his people, he received a gunshot in his side and fell. Knowing that he was unable to continue the fight, and, though doubting that he could rise, he endeavored to shield himself from the bullets and arrows of the Indian band. He succeeded in dragging himself to the river bank, when, seizing a willow branch, he lowered himself to the foot of the steep cliff, some ten feet, reaching the water's edge. He then attempted to swim to the opposite shore. The effort caused him to lose his gun, in deep water. Owing to weakness due to his wound, he was unable to cross the stream.

Jerry Bush's parting view of the camp had revealed the apparent destruction of his entire party, except himself. Observing the body of at least one woman, among the victims on the ground, he believed that his sister also had been slain.

 But Mrs. Holloway and the little girl were still in the tent, for the time unhurt, and just awakened from their morning slumber. Having realized that the camp was being attacked, Mrs. Holloway emerged from the tent to find no living member of her party in sight, other than herself and her child. For a moment she was partially shielded by the wagons. The first object that drew her attention was her husband's form, lying still in death, near the fire he had just kindled. Next beyond was the dead body of Blevens, and a little farther away were the remains of the others who had been slain. Her brother she did not see, but supposed he had met the same fate as the others whom she saw on the ground. Jerry was an experienced hunter; she knew that he always owned a fine gun, and had full confidence that, if he were alive and not disabled, he would defend his people to the last.

"With hand upraised, in supplication, yielded to the impulse to flee" She saw some of the Indians coming from their ambush by the river. They approached for a time with caution, looking furtively about, as if to be sure there was no man left to defend the camp. As they drew nearer Mrs. Holloway realized that she and her child were facing an awful fate—death or captivity. On came the savages, now more boldly, and in greater numbers.

Holloway Massacre on Humboldt River Sketch
 The terrified woman, clothed only in her night robe, barefooted; not knowing whether to take flight or stand and plead for mercy; with the child on one arm, one hand raised in supplication, yielded finally to the impulse to flee. As she started the attacking band resumed firing; she was struck, by arrows and at least one bullet, and dropped headlong to the ground.

Though conscious, she remained motionless, in the hope that, by feigning death she might escape further wounds and torture. But the Indians came, and taking the arrows from her body, punctured her flesh with the jagged instruments, as a test whether physical sensation would disclose a sign of life remaining. She lay with eyes closed; not a muscle twitched nor a finger moved, while those demons proceeded, in no delicate manner, to cut the skin around the head at the edge of the hair, then tear the scalp from the skull, leaving the bare and bleeding head on the ground.

Horrible as all this was, it did not prove to be the last nor the most revolting exhibition of wanton lust for blood.

The little girl, who it is hoped had been rendered insensible at sight of the cruelties perpetrated upon her mother, was taken by the feet and her brains dashed out on the wheels of a wagon. To this last act in the fiendish drama there was probably no witness other than the actors in it; but the child's body, mangled too terribly for description, and the bloody marks on the wagon, gave evidence so convincing that there could not be a moment's doubt of what had occurred.

The marauders now began a general looting of the wagons. Some of their number were rounding up the stock, preparing to drive the cattle away, when the trains of emigrants next in the rear appeared, less than half a mile distant. This caused the Indian band to retreat. They crossed the river, and then placing themselves behind the willows, hurried away, making their escape into the mountain fastnesses. Owing to their precipitous departure, much of the plunder they were preparing to take was left behind them. Among the articles thus dropped by them was the scalp of Mrs. Holloway, and the rescuing party found and took possession of it.

Those emigrants who first came upon the scene found Mrs. Holloway apparently dead; but, on taking her up, they saw that she was alive. Though returning to semi-consciousness some time later, her condition was such that she was unable to tell the story then; but there were evidences showing plainer than words could have told of the awful events of that morning, which had converted the quiet camp of this happy, hopeful company into a scene of death and destruction.

Before noon a large number of people of the great emigrant procession had arrived. They united in giving to the dead the best interment that the circumstances permitted. Then the broken and scattered effects of the Holloway company were gathered up, and the now mournful trains took position in the line of pilgrimage and again moved forward towards the Pacific.

Mr. Fennell, aided by Captain Rountree's company and others, attempted to save such of the Holloway property as had not been carried off or destroyed. They were successful in recovering about one hundred of the one hundred and fifty head of stock which the Indians had endeavored to drive away. Two mules that were being led off by ropes broke away from the savage band and returned, but the emigrants did not recover any of the stolen horses.

Jerry Bush found his way back to the scene. His injury, though apparently of a dangerous character, did not delay the relief parties more than a day after the attack, and the wound healed within a few weeks. It was reported that Callum and Hattlebaugh had escaped, but their further whereabouts was not known.

Captain Rountree took charge of Mrs. Holloway and her brother and brought them, with such of their stock and other belongings as remained, to The Meadows, on the Feather River. After partially recuperating there, an uncle, Mr. Perry Durban, came to their aid, and they were taken to Suisun. After full recovery from his wound, Jerry Bush located in Ukiah, and resided there some years. He still survives, now a resident of Hulett, Wyoming, at the ripe age of eighty years.

The slaughter of the Holloway party occurred at a point on the Humboldt River some thirty miles east of where Winnemucca is located, a few miles west of Battle Mountain. This becomes apparent by careful estimates of distance traveled per day, rather than by landmarks noted at the time, there being no settlements there, nor elsewhere along the route, at that time.

Jerry Bush, 1914 It was perhaps a year later when I went to a camp-meeting one Sunday, at Mark West Creek, in Sonoma County, California. The people attending a service were in a small opening among trees. Standing back of those who were seated, I saw among them a woman whose profile seemed familiar, and later I recognized her as Mrs. Holloway.

My interest in her career, due to her extraordinary part in the Indian massacre on the plains, was heightened by the fact that I had known her previously, as the daughter of Mr. Bush, a prosperous farmer, and had been present when she married Mr. Holloway, in a little schoolhouse, near Rockport, Atchison County, Missouri. It seemed a natural impulse which prompted me to ask her for particulars of the tragedy, so disastrous to herself and her family; though later there were misgivings regarding the propriety of doing so.

Mrs. Holloway appeared at that time to be in good health, and was cheerful, possessing perfect control of her faculties. Her head was covered by a wig, made of her own hair, taken from the scalp that was recovered at the scene of the massacre.

All the heartrending experiences that she had endured were imprinted upon her mind in minutest detail, and she related them in the exact order of their occurrence. The recalling of the terrible ordeal, however, so wrought upon her emotions that she wept, to the limit of mild hysteria, which brought our conversation to a close, and soon thereafter she left the place.

I saw her no more; but learned sometime afterwards that her health failed, then of the giving away of her mental powers, and still later of her death, at Napa City; caused primarily by shock, and brooding over the misfortunes she had met on the bank of the Humboldt River.

Mrs. Nancy Holloway, 1857 It is difficult to believe that a woman, any woman—or any man—could, in a state of consciousness, endure such torture as was inflicted upon Mrs. Holloway, and refrain from disclosing to her tormentors that she was alive. But that she did so endure was her positive statement, and this was indisputably corroborated by evidences found by those who arrived at the scene less than an hour after the event.

Through the kindness of Mr. William Holloway, of Fairfax, Missouri, there is presented here a picture of Mrs. Nancy Holloway, wife of Smith Holloway. The photograph was taken in California, shortly after the attack described.

Disquieting Rumors - Holloway Massacre

They Started Flight



Note:  Additional information regarding Holloway Massacre
As recorded in "Book of Crossing the Plains, Days of '57' by William Audley Maxwell 
Note: This is a true story of an Indian Massacre involving my daughter-in-law's ancesters.
Jeremiah Bush is her gg-grandfather.


Soon after passing the summit of the Rocky Mountains there were rumors of a hostile attitude toward emigrants on the part of certain Indian tribes farther west. For a time such information seemed vague as to origin and reliability, but in time the rumors became persistent, and there developed a feeling of much concern, first for the safety of our stock, later for our own protection.

Measures of precaution were discussed. Men of our train visited those of others, ahead and behind us, and exchanged views regarding the probability of danger and the best means for protection and defense. We were forced to the conclusion that the situation was grave; and the interests of the several trains were mutual. As the members of the different parties, most of whom previously had been strangers to one another, met and talked of the peril which all believed to be imminent, they became as brothers; and mutual protection was the theme that came up oftenest and was listened to with the most absorbing interest.

By the time we had crossed the Green River these consultations had matured into a plan for consolidation of trains, for greater concentration of strength. A. J. Drennan's company of four or five wagons, immediately ahead of us, and the Dr. Kidd train, of three wagons, next behind us, closed up the space between, and all three traveled as one train. Thus combined, a considerable number of able-bodied men were brought together, making a rather formidable array for an ordinary band of Indians to attack. Every man primed his gun and thenceforth took care to see that his powder was dry.

Still the youthful element occasionally managed to extract some humor out of the very circumstances which the older and more serious members held to be grounds for forebodings of evil. One morning after we had left camp, a favorite cow was missing from the drove. "Jack" Aston and Major Crewdson, both young fellows, rode back in search of the stray. From a little hill-top they saw, in a ravine below, some half dozen Indians busily engaged in skinning the cow. "Jack" and the Major returned and merely reported what they had seen. They were asked why they had not demanded of those "rascally" Indians that they explain why they were skinning a cow that did not belong to them. "Jack" promptly answered that, as for himself, he had never been introduced to this particular party of Indians, and was not on speaking terms with them; furthermore, neither he nor the Major had sufficient knowledge of the Indian language properly to discuss the matter with them.

The route pursued led to the north of Great Salt Lake, thence northwesterly. Our line of travel did not therefore bring us within view of the Mormon settlements which had already been established at the southerly end of the great inland sea.

We camped one night approximately where the city of Ogden now stands, then a desolate expanse of sand-dunes. A group of our men sat around the camp-fire that evening, discussing the probability of a railroad ever being constructed over the route we were traveling. All of them were natives or recent residents of the Middle West, and it is probable that not one had ever seen a railroad. The unanimous opinion was that such a project as the building of a railroad through territory like that over which we had thus far traveled would be a task so stupendous as to baffle all human ingenuity and skill. Yet, some twelve years later, the ceremony of driving the famous "last spike," completing the railroad connection between the Atlantic and Pacific, was performed on a sand flat very near the spot where we camped that night. The intervening period saw the establishment of the "pony express," which greatly facilitated the mail service (incidentally reducing letter postage to Pacific Coast points from twenty-five to ten cents). That service continued from the early sixties until through railroad connection was made.

After the consolidation of trains as described, our next neighbor to the rear was Smith Holloway, whose "outfit" consisted of three wagons, with a complement of yokewise oxen and some horses and mules; also a large drove of stock cattle, intended for the market in California, where it was known they would be salable at high prices. He had with him his wife, a little daughter, and Jerry Bush, Mrs. Holloway's brother, a young man of twenty-one years; also two hired men, Joe Blevens and Bird Lawles. Holloway kept his party some distance behind us, he having declined to join the consolidation of trains in order to avoid the inconvenience that the mingling of his stock with ours would entail, with reference to pasture, and camping facilities.

A mile or two behind Holloway were the trains of Captain Rountree, the Giles company, Simpson Fennell, Mr. Russell, and others, equipped with several wagons each, and accompanied by some loose stock.

All these were traveling along, a sort of moving neighborhood; incidentally getting acquainted with one another, visiting on the road by day and in the camp at evening time; talking of the journey, of the country for which we were en route, and our hopes of prosperity and happiness in the new El Dorado—but most of all, just then, of the probable danger of attack by savage tribes.

More than ever rumors of impending trouble were flying from train to train. Some of these were to the effect that white bandits were in league with Indians in robbing and murdering emigrants. The well-known treachery of the savages, and the stories we heard of emigrants having been slaughtered also by whites—the real facts of which we knew little of—were quite enough to beget fear and suggest the need of plans for the best possible resistance.

Up to this time there was frequent communication between trains, a considerable distance ahead and behind. As at home, neighbor would visit neighbor, and discuss the topics of the day; so, from time to time we met persons in other trains who gave out information obtained before leaving home, or from mountaineers, trappers or explorers, occasionally met while we were yet on the eastern slope of the Rockies; men who were familiar with Indian dialects and at peace with the tribes, enabling them to learn much that was of importance to the emigrants.

Dissemination of news among the people of the various trains near us was accomplished not only during visits by members of one train to those of another, but sometimes by other methods. One of these, which was frequently employed in communicating generally or in signaling individuals known to be somewhere in the line behind us, was by a system of "bone-writing."

There were along the line of travel many bare, bleached bones of animals that had died in previous years, many of them doubtless the animals of earlier emigrants. Some of these, as for example, the frontal or the jaw-bone, whitened by the elements, and having some plain, smooth surface, were excellent tablets for pencil writing. An emigrant desiring to communicate with another, or with a company, to the rear, would write the message on one of these bones and place the relic on a heap of stones by the roadside, or suspend it in the branches of a sage bush, so conspicuously displayed that all coming after would see it and read. Those for general information, intended for all comers, were allowed to remain; others, after being read by the person addressed, were usually removed. Sometimes when passing such messages, placed by those ahead of us, we added postscripts to the bulletins, giving names and dates, for the edification of whomever might care to read them. It was in this way that some of the developments regarding the Indian situation were made known by one train to another.

Thus we progressed, counting off the average of about eighteen miles a day from the long part of the journey that still lay before us, when we reached Thousand Springs, adjacent to the present boundary line between Utah and Nevada. This, we were told, was the source of the Humboldt River. We were told, too, that the four hundred miles down the course of that peculiar stream—which we could not hope to traverse in much less than one month—we would find to be the most desert-like portion of the entire trip, the most disagreeable and arduous, for man and beast. Such was to be expected by reason of the character of that region and the greater danger there of Indian depredations; also because the passage through that section was to be undertaken after our teams had become greatly worn, therefore more likely to fail under hard conditions. Furthermore, scarcity of feed for the stock was predicted, and, along much of the way, uncertainty as to water supply, other than that from the Humboldt River, which was, especially at that time of the year, so strongly impregnated with alkali as to be dangerous to life.

Nearly all the face of the country was covered with alkali dust, which, in a light, pulverulent state, rose and filled the air at the slightest breeze or other disturbance. It was impossible to avoid inhaling this powder to some extent, and it created intense thirst, tending toward exhaustion and great suffering. We knew that sometimes delirium was induced by this cause, and even death resulted from it in cases of very long exposure under the worst conditions.

Sometimes for miles the only vegetable growth we found along the river was a string of willow bushes, fringing its course, and scattered, stunted sagebrush, growing feebly in gravel and dry sand, the leaves of which were partly withered and of a pale, ashy tint. Feed for the animals was very scarce. It was not possible, over much of the way, to get sufficient fresh water for the stock, therefore difficult to restrain them from drinking the river water. Some did drink from that stream, despite all efforts to prevent it, the result being that many of them died while we made our way along the sluggish Humboldt.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bath Time

Story as told by Zela Asay's daughter, Joy Marostica

The wash tub in the Asay home was an important piece of equipment. Not only did Grandmother wash clothes and kids in it, but it was on occasion used to store apples. One evening when my mother was a teenager, a group of friends dropped by to invite her to a dance. Wanting to appear a lady of leisure she said, “I’d love to go but first, Âlbert, would you please draw my bâth?” Twelve year old Ab promptly replied, “Sure, Zeke, (Zela hated that nickname), but I’ll have to dump the apples out first.”

Cherokee Morning Song

The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ)
The Stick of Judah and The Stick of Joseph

Beautiful Cherokee Morning Song (Click to  Listen)

We n' de ya ho, We n' de ya ho,
We n' de ya, We n' de ya Ho ho ho ho,
He ya ho, He ya ho, Ya ya ya

Translation - We n' de ya ho

Freely translated: "A we n'" (I am), "de" (of), "Yauh" --the-- (Great Spirit), "Ho" (it is so).

Written as: A we n' de Yauh ho (I am of the Great Spirit, Ho!).

This language stems from very ancient Cherokee
Arranged by Rita Coolidge and Robbie Robertson.
Translation by David Michael Wolfe who is an Eastern Virginia Cherokee and a cultural historian. Thanks to Maurizio Orlando  for providing the translation.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sockobee and the Bear River Massacre

Over Looking Bear River

This True Indian Story was a favorite story Louisa told Phoebe Wheeler.

"It was the winter of 1860 in Franklin, Idaho and the Saints were having trouble with the Indians. They were stealing cattle, horses, and giving plenty of trouble. They were told if they didn't get along they would send the army, but the Indians didn't believe them, so the soldiers were sent for and they came one evening. The Pioneers fed them and gave them a good place to sleep. The next morning they fought with the Indians, there were eight soldiers killed and many Indians killed and wounded. All the families in the settlement had to care for the wounded Indians. They put them in buildings and took food, water and medicine to them.

Sarah Goode Marshall

Louisa Marshall Boice
George Thomas Marshall

There were two Indians given to great-great-grandmother, Sarah Marshall. Louisa (great-grandmother) was only 10 years old, and her brother George was 8. It was their job to take the food and water to the 2 Indians who were in the blacksmith shop. One of the Indians hands was shot pretty bad so he asked Grandmother if she and Uncle George would get some bark off quaken aspen tree, chokeberry tree, tag elder, and kontnick tree which they did. They put the bark in a big clean pot and cooked it over the fire. When it was done and cooled he put it on his hands and soon they were healed. They kept him the rest of the winter and when spring came let him go back to his tribe. He always called Louisa, Sockobee.
The years passed and grandmother married and had 6 children living in Frankfort on a big farm. Martin Calvin was doing some investigating at the lower field and wanted Louisa to walk around the field with him. There were Indians camped at the lower end of the field. Calvin said Louisa lets walk over and see if we know any of them so they did.

When they got to the camp, an old Indian came forward and said, "Sockobee, Sockobee."
Grandmother didn't know what he was trying to say or recognize him. Then he held up his two scared hands and she knew he was one of the Indians she helped to care for many years before when she was a small girl, 10 years of age."

Grandmother Delilah Asay told us this story, telling abou the Indian braves that escaped the soldiers hid under the banks of the frozen river and the snow being red with blood. Rick, has many Northern Shoshone friends, and tried to discover what Sokopee meant. Since it is phonetic, the closest translation that makes sense is "Little mother". In any case, this Indian used it as a term of endearment.

(click below to hear Amazing Grace in Cherokee)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Story of the Red Rose

The Red Rose has always been significant in the Asay family, especially for Grandmother Asay. I always thought Grandpa gave the rose to the pretty girl driving the wagon. Joy Marostica re-tells the story:

Over the years I had always been aware that the red rose held a special meaning for my Grandparents, but it wasn’t until recently that I understood why.

In June of 1977 as we drove with Grandmother through the desolate Wyoming prairies on our way to Casper, we asked her to tape some of the events of her life. We were delighted to find her telling us of her romance with Grandfather.

In the early 1900’s Grandpa’s family was helping the church in the development of the Big Horn Basin and they had settled in Lovell. It was necessary on one occasion for Adelbert to go to Montana in search of a missing young boy. After traveling many miles he lay down for a nap by the Yellowstone River. Upon awakening he discovered a beautiful red rose lying on the bank. He stuck it in his shirt, jumped on his horse, and continued his journey. He could see a wagon in the distance and as he came closer he observed a young lady driving it.

This 17 year old girl was Delila Boice on her way to the Big Horn Basin with her family. She saw the lone rider with a flash of red on his shirt in the distance. She hoped he would be of some help for directions. As Adelbert rode closer she noticed he was very handsome; she hoped her father would speak kindly to him, and she felt anyone who would wear a red rose on a hot, dusty ride must be sensitive, nice, and wonderful!

Adelbert did give them directions and encouraged them to settle in Lovell, as the soil was fertile, the water clear, and it was so beautiful there.

Brother Boice took his advice and the following Sunday at church the courtship began - August 17, 1903.

In those days for entertainment the young people in Lovell danced on the Shoshone River Bridge. The dance hall was for the “rowdy bunch.” Reuben Allpin and Orin Elmer played the harmonicas and someone called the quadrilles. When a wagon wanted to cross, the dancers scooted to the sides. Delila’s and Delbert’s favorite dance tune was “In the Good Old Summer Time.”

On October 5, 1903 Delila and Adelbert were married in the tent home of her parents. They continued to enjoy dancing, and as their children were born they took them along putting them to sleep on the large pile of dancers’ coats.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Dishpan Ride

Delila’s parents made good use of tubs. A small one was used for gathering woodchips as well as for dishes. The following incident is from Delila’s journal:

I remember the stacks of wood that had to be chopped and carried into the house to keep the stoves and kitchen range well supplied. We always gathered chips of wood for quick heat.

One time my niece, Louise Boice, and I returned from school. Mother said, “You girls hurry and gather the chips and I will stir up a cake and buttermilk biscuits for supper.”

We went to the porch and each took a large pan to gather the chips in. As we were looking we discovered a trail down the snow covered hill. We decided it would be fun to sit in the pan and slide down. My pan began to whirl and didn’t stop until I crashed into a quaking aspen tree. I wasn’t hurt but I was so dizzy and didn’t feel like eating supper. That was my first and last trip down a hill in a dishpan.

Visiting Teaching Message

Contented Cows

Story as retold by granddaughter, Joye Marostica, entitled
"Visiting Teaching With a Sense of Humor"

Delila loved her calling as a visiting teacher. To go into the homes of the assigned sisters once a month with a gospel message was to her a wonderful opportunity to show compassion to others.

Sister MacLemore was her companion, and the sisters they visited looked forward to their words of encouragement and occasional baskets of garden produce, homemade bread or other small gifts.

The lessons to be taught always came from the Relief Society General Board in Salt Lake, and their purpose was to help the women of the church to be better homemakers and mothers, and to point out ways of living the gospel in their daily lives.

In the early 1900’s some people had still not heard of milk pasteurization - Delila was one of these.

As Sister MacLemore and Grandma were preparing to do their visiting teaching one day they came upon a new word… pasteurize. They discussed it at some length and finally concluded it meant ‘putting the cows in a lovely green pasture in order to produce good rich milk.”

After a word of prayer asking the Lord for his guidance in this important health lesson - they started out. Among the ladies on their route was the wife of Doctor Edward Croft. Before reaching the Crofts they stopped to see Sister Stewart, fortunately Brother Stewart happened to be home… after their very ‘informative’ lesson, he very tactfully explained the concept of heating milk to prevent disease - much to their surprise!

Delila was so grateful they had started with prayer and had their act together before reaching the Doctor’s home.

That evening Grandma laughed as she told the family of her blunder… turning humiliation into an extremely funny joke on herself.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Delilah and the Red Poppy Hat

Delilah May Boice circa 1902

"While we lived in Waterloo, the men found work.  I was lucky to find a job at the J.B. Welcome Ranch and worked there two summers helping cook for the haying crew.  I made $25.00 a month.  Back then, that was good money.

During the winters I worked for Mrs. Solabadger until she moved away.  She could not take their sheppard dog, Sport, and she wanted to find a good home for him.  She asked me if my folks might want him.  He was a good cattle dog and Father was happy to get him.

With the money I earned, I helped the folks some and bought my clothes.  I was 17 years old and I wanted to have a new outfit to wear in the new community.  I bought material and Mother made me a beautiful rose dress.  I bought shoes and a lovely hat.  It was white leghorn with a wide brim.  One side was turned up and and the top was filled with red silk poppies with a black velvet ribbon. 

Just before we left on the journey to the Big Horn Basin, I had my picture taken in my lovely outfit.  I was excited about the coming adventure and driving my parent's camp wagon.  I tied my new hat up in a tea towel and fastened it to the top of the wagon.  Two days on the journey we met a man who wanted (to) trade horses.  Father said that he would for $75.00 more.  The trade was made and the horses were switched onto the wagon I was driving.  The new horse looked like Black Beauty, except for a deformed front leg, but that didn't prevent it from being a good work horse.

We had been traveling about ten days when Sport ran alongside the new horse and got kicked and a broken leg.  Father said, "We'll either have to shoot the dog or haul him."  Every wagon was loaded to capacity.  I said, "Put him in my wagon."  The camp wagon had a stove bolted to the floor and I traveled with soup and so forth cooking on the stove.  Father and Will set Sport's hind leg and put him in my wagon.

A few days later the ties that held my new hat to the roof of the wagon came loose and had fell in front of Sport.  He chewed the hat up and scattered the red poppies.  When I discovered what had happened, I was brokenhearted.  I gathered the poppies hoping to do something with them later.

As I started on down the road, I kept thinking about my pretty hat.  Every once in a while, I would look back and scold, "Shame on you Sport!"  Finally, he started putting his paws over his eyes and then he would raise one paw and look at me and whine as if to say, "I'm so sorry."

My four year old great-grandson, Charles Shumway III of Las Vegas, Nevada was told this story and shown the picture.  He cried about it and said, "My Great-Grandma is gonna have a hat."  He wrote a poem and on my 90th birthday he gave me a white wide brim straw hat.  I have had many hats, but the hat he gave me is my prized one."

"When the dog ate your hat,
It made me feel bad.
I bought you a new hat,
To make you feel glad."
    -- by Charles Shumway III

Story as written in "Handmaidens of the Lord," a collection of histories and stories by Gwendolyn

Delila's granddaughter Marlene Wasden Cupit had a dress and hat made for the occasion of the 2004 Asay Reunion held in Orem, Utah and re-told this story.

(double click on image to enlarge)

News paper article appearing in the Lovell Chronical in Anna's Column following and Open House honoring Delilah Asay on the occasion of her 92nd Birthday.

The Relief Society Ladies

    The Relief Society House - Lovell Wyoming       
This is one of my favorite stories Grandmother Asay told about herself.  The photos and story below are taken from the Adelbert Asay Family Book   (double click on  images to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Please excuse our dust...

we are under construction, but please check back with us later for True Pioneer Stories as told by Delilah May Boice Asay to her children and their children.  Grandmother's legacy is in her desire to keep the stories and history alive.  This blog site is dedicated to that great effort.